Don’t delay choosing new kitchen counter tops just because you don’t have enough information about the different surfaces and materials. Kitchen by Design has all the facts you’ll ever need to help you make that important decision.
The three most important questions you need to ask are the ones only you can answer:
Would it be matt or glossy; synthetic or real; wood, stone or metal?
How durable must it be; heavy duty or just light work; high maintenance or low?
Do you want an investment that will always look good and last long; or just a quick fix? Remember, you get what you pay for.
People worry about making the wrong choices, but with the above three answers you are well on your way to making the right selection and cutting the stress! We all want our kitchens to look expensive but we also need them to be practical. With the right material for your needs, they can be both!
Here is a concise description about choice and functionality of the more popular materials that we work with at Kitchen by Design:
Quickly rising to the top of everyone’s wish list are these brand names of really good solid surface materials; they are ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Keep heat away from them and they will respond by being easy to clean and more durable than most, giving you extremely long lasting and hardwearing surfaces that always look good. They have a granite look to them and a vast range of colours to choose from. When fitting, their joints can be made to look seamless and if scratched they can be easily sanded and repaired. These are the new age materials. Not cheap but a great investment considering their long life, easy maintenance and superior, upmarket look of smooth precision and craftsmanship. You can even have patterns inlayed – corporate logos, family crests – which adds yet another dimension to their appeal.
Everyone’s talking about this most popular of materials. Ceasar Stone is its tradename and it’s imported from the USA. It’s a quartz surface which is one of the hardest minerals and keeps its shine. The surface is always cool, smooth and extremely durable. There is a good dependable range of shades and patterns which will blend in with any colour palette and makes this type of granite a most desirable counter top in which to invest.
Almost scratch free and heat proof, this is one of the all time favourite counter top materials. It is hardwearing but unlike the stone above, it’s porous and absorbs spills and splatters; it’s also a little fussy about the cleaning chemicals you use on it. On the upside, it is easy to clean and maintain with the right products and there is a huge choice of patterns in South Africa making this a good pick for anyone in any circumstance. Just be careful to have it cut thick enough or it will break.
You could say this was the most desirable and beautiful of them all; but it’s not advisable to use it in the kitchen. It’s expensive, porous, and it stains almost instantly and way too easily – sadly you can’t remove the stains. Even if your kitchen is there purely for show – and who can say that? – Murphy’s Law will prevail, someone will spill something and all will be spoiled.
Although once a firm favourite, it fell from favour when cracks and chips kept appearing through poor workmanship. It’s quite a durable surface but needs properly fabricating to prevent the cracking and chipping. This porous material must also be expertly sealed to avoid stains. It is the skilful engineering it requires that makes it expensive.
There is a vast range of tiles available: designs, patterns, colours, shapes, sizes and prices – something to suit everyone. As tiles are familiar to us - most of us probably see them every day in our bathrooms - we feel comfortable with them. But think twice before you select them for kitchen counter top duty. Drawbacks are easy cracking and chipping, plus they are unhygienic. Food and particles of other matter gets trapped in the narrow grouting, attracting bacteria and creating a breeding ground for germs. Worse yet, light coloured tiles must be scrubbed on a daily basis or they look terrible.
Fairly easy to maintain, a huge variety of colours from which to select, and possibly the most inexpensive, makes this quite a popular choice. The drawbacks are you can’t use the surface as a chopping board; it’s not heat, water or stain resistant, so it’s not as durable as some others. Still, it’s easy to clean and if properly maintained and cared for, can look good for a long time.
This, as a working surface is so desirable and rewarding. Stainless Steel kitchen counter tops are hardwearing and long lasting. They are hygienic and easy to clean. One drawback is that they show scratches and although these scratches are surface only and thus still germ free, knife marks shows and are unattractive. However, if treated with care this material will reward you will a lifetime of service.
Solid wooden kitchen counter tops are not for everyone; but they do look attractive and give your kitchen home warm, home appeal. Once of the reasons that solid wood is not at the top of most people’s wish list is that it’s expensive and easy to scratch and cut – which can make it fairly unhygienic. It also shows stains and burns. Still, if you really want wood and you properly maintain it with the regular treatment it requires, it will reward you with durability and a homely appeal.
If you require any further information or assistance in making your decision, Kitchen by Design’s Experts are just one phone call away. We are all here to give you the help you need that will get you closer to your dream kitchen. Call us – we know what cooks in the kitchen business!